Governor Malloy adds Connecticut to states agreeing to uphold Paris accord

HARTFORD — Connecticut is joining the United States Climate Alliance, according to Governor Malloy.

It’s a move spurred on by President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris accord, announced Thursday.

Under former President Obama, the U.S. had agreed to reduce emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 — about 1.6 billion tons.  President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, but will begin negotiations to “re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction.”

But mayors and governors across the country have a different take. California, Washington state, and New York have all entered the United States Climate Alliance to date, and now Governor Malloy wants to add Connecticut.

Governor Malloy said in a statement:

“Connecticut has been a national leader in combatting climate change and we have no plans of slowing down our efforts. In the absence of leadership from the White House in addressing climate change, it is incumbent upon the states to take action in order to protect their residents.  We remain committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement because it is the right thing to do for not only the future of our state, but for the future of our planet.  I am proud to stand with my fellow governors in support of efforts to reverse the harmful effects of global warming and to send a message to the rest of the world that we accept the science of climate change and we will not let the misguided beliefs of a few ruin our planet.”

The governor hopes that with input from all participants, the United States Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.

Connecticut stands to be harmed by President  Trump’s decision.

In a state where the economy is already struggling, one expert predicts it could now get worse as a result of Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Don Strait, the President of the CT Fund for the Environment, calls Trump’s decision foolish and reckless.

“There is enormous potential for more and more solar, for wind energy,” said Strait, who is also a member of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Council on Climate Change.

“We can’t really rely on the coal industry and stuff we have to rely more on wind and solar power,” said Javier Reyes of Wallingford.

And, without what he calls the most hopeful international agreement on climate ever, Strait said Connecticut will be on the weather watch more frequently.

“It really has to do with temperature extremes just making it more likely that we see these incredibly damaging storms,” said Straight.

Strait said as many as 15,000 coastal Connecticut homes could be at risk more often. But, so would Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure.

“Route 95 and our rail line are in very low-lying areas and Connecticut can’t do business without those infrastructures,” he said.

Sea levels could rise by a foot over the next 30 years here in Connecticut, he said. Adding that a big concern for the. U.S. military is global warming

“Such as drought and refugee crisis. And we all know what refugee crisis can do to countries around the world,” said Strait.